Bill Text: NY S05898 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Amended


Bill Title: Relates to providing a final average salary disability retirement benefit to certain participants in World Trade Center rescue, recovery, or cleanup operations.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 5-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-06-20 - returned to senate [S05898 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-S05898-Amended.html



                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________

                                         5898--D

                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions

                    IN SENATE

                                      May 16, 2019
                                       ___________

        Introduced  by Sen. GAUGHRAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on Civil Service and Pensions
          -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered  reprinted  as  amended
          and  recommitted  to  said  committee  --  committee  discharged, bill
          amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said  commit-
          tee  --  committee  discharged,  bill  amended,  ordered  reprinted as
          amended and recommitted to said  committee  --  committee  discharged,
          bill  amended,  ordered  reprinted  as amended and recommitted to said
          committee

        AN ACT to amend the retirement and social security law, in  relation  to
          disability retirement benefits for certain participants in World Trade
          Center rescue, recovery, or cleanup operations

          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section 1. Paragraph 4 of subdivision d of section 605 of the  retire-
     2  ment  and  social security law is renumbered paragraph 5 and a new para-
     3  graph 4 is added to read as follows:
     4    4. Notwithstanding any other law, rule or regulation to the  contrary,
     5  any  member who had an active membership in the New York state and local
     6  employees' retirement system or the New York state teachers'  retirement
     7  system,  when  such  member  participated  in World Trade Center rescue,
     8  recovery, or cleanup operations, as such  participation  is  defined  in
     9  section  two  of  this  chapter,  who  incurred a qualifying World Trade
    10  Center condition, as defined in section two of  this  chapter,  that  is
    11  determined  to  have  been  incurred in the performance and discharge of
    12  duty and is the natural and proximate result of an accident  not  caused
    13  by  such member's own willful negligence, shall be paid a performance of
    14  duty disability retirement allowance equal to  three-quarters  of  final
    15  average  salary.    The  payment of such pension shall be subject to the
    16  provisions of section sixty-four of this chapter.

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD08565-15-9

        S. 5898--D                          2

     1    § 2. Section 507 of the retirement and social security law is  amended
     2  by adding a new subdivision h-1 to read as follows:
     3    h-1.  Notwithstanding any other law, rule or regulation to the contra-
     4  ry, any member who had an active membership in the New  York  state  and
     5  local  employees'  retirement  system  or  the  New York state teachers'
     6  retirement system, when such member participated in World  Trade  Center
     7  rescue,  recovery,  or  cleanup  operations,  as  such  participation is
     8  defined in section two of this chapter, who incurred a qualifying  World
     9  Trade  Center condition, as defined in section two of this chapter, that
    10  is determined to have been incurred in the performance and discharge  of
    11  duty  and  is the natural and proximate result of an accident not caused
    12  by such member's own willful negligence, shall be paid a performance  of
    13  duty  disability  retirement  allowance equal to three-quarters of final
    14  average salary.  The payment of such pension shall  be  subject  to  the
    15  provisions of section sixty-four of this chapter.
    16    §  3. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, none
    17  of the provisions of this act shall be subject  to  section  25  of  the
    18  retirement and social security law.
    19    §  4.  This  act shall take effect immediately and apply to all active
    20  members who are determined to have incurred  a  qualifying  World  Trade
    21  Center  condition  in  the performance and discharge of duty that is the
    22  natural and proximate result of an accident not caused by such  member's
    23  own willful negligence prior to the effective date of this act.
          FISCAL NOTE.--Pursuant to Legislative Law, Section 50:
          This  bill  would  amend  the  benefits  of  certain members of public
        retirement systems who are subject to the provisions of  Article  14  or
        Article  15  of  the Retirement and Social Security Law who contract any
        form of disease or disability related to exposure  to  any  elements  in
        connection with the World Trade Center rescue, recovery or cleanup oper-
        ations.  The  annual  accidental  disability  benefit  would be 75% of a
        member's final average salary less workers compensation, regardless of a
        member's plan coverage. Currently, eligible members  receive  the  acci-
        dental  disability  benefit  specified  in the plan under which they are
        covered, which for most Article 14 and 15 members is 1/3 of final  aver-
        age  salary.  This  improved  benefit  would  be payable only to current
        members or their beneficiaries. Current retirees and their beneficiaries
        would not be affected by this bill.
          If this bill is enacted, the cost of the revised benefit  will  depend
        upon the applicant's age, service, salary, plan, and benefit type other-
        wise payable, but is expected to cost up to 4 times final average salary
        per individual.
          Insofar as this bill would affect the New York State and Local Employ-
        ees'  Retirement  System, there are currently 610 active members, with a
        combined salary of $6.4 million, who have filed an Application for World
        Trade Notice who could potentially receive benefits under this bill.
          A precise cost for future years cannot be determined at this time. Any
        increased cost would be shared by the State of New York and  participat-
        ing  employers  of  the  New  York State and Local Employees' Retirement
        System.
          Summary of relevant resources:
          The membership data used in  measuring  the  impact  of  the  proposed
        change  was  the same as that used in the March 31, 2018 actuarial valu-
        ation.  Distributions and other statistics can  be  found  in  the  2018
        Report  of  the  Actuary  and  the  2018  Comprehensive Annual Financial
        Report.

        S. 5898--D                          3

          The actuarial assumptions and methods used are described in the  2015,
        2016,  2017  and  2018  Annual  Report  to  the Comptroller on Actuarial
        Assumptions, and the Codes, Rules and Regulations of the  State  of  New
        York: Audit and Control.
          The Market Assets and GASB Disclosures are found in the March 31, 2018
        New  York  State  and  Local  Retirement System Financial Statements and
        Supplementary Information.
          I am a member of the American Academy of Actuaries and meet the Quali-
        fication Standards to render the actuarial opinion contained herein.
          This fiscal note does not constitute a legal opinion on the  viability
        of  the  proposed change nor is it intended to serve as a substitute for
        the professional judgment of an attorney.
          This estimate, dated June 13, 2019, and intended for use  only  during
        the  2019  Legislative Session, is Fiscal Note No. 2019-144, prepared by
        the Actuary for the New York State and Local Retirement System.
          FISCAL NOTE.--Pursuant to Legislative Law, Section 50:
          This bill would amend Sections 507  and  605  of  the  Retirement  and
        Social  Security Law to allow any member of the New York State Teachers'
        Retirement System who had an active membership when such member  partic-
        ipated in the World Trade Center rescue, recovery, or cleanup operations
        and who incurred a qualifying World Trade Center condition determined to
        have been incurred in the performance and discharge of duty to receive a
        performance  of duty disability retirement benefit equal to 75% of final
        average salary. Currently an active member would receive  an  accidental
        disability  retirement  benefit  which  is  generally one-third of final
        average salary. Members who become disabled or die  as  a  result  of  a
        qualifying World Trade Center condition are assumed to have become disa-
        bled  or  died  as a result of an accidental or on-the-job disability or
        death. This bill would take effect immediately and apply to  all  active
        members  who  are  determined  to have incurred a qualifying World Trade
        Center condition in the performance and discharge of duty prior  to  the
        effective date of this act.
          The cost, or additional present value of benefits, is estimated to be,
        on  average,  $320,000  for each member who receives this performance of
        duty disability retirement benefit. Although the potential  increase  in
        an  affected  member's  benefit is estimated to be large, the additional
        annual cost to the employers of members of the New York State  Teachers'
        Retirement  System is estimated to be negligible if this bill is enacted
        because it is anticipated there would be few applications  received  for
        this  performance of duty disability retirement benefit from our member-
        ship.
          Member data is from  the  System's  most  recent  actuarial  valuation
        files,  consisting  of  data provided by the employers to the Retirement
        System. Data distributions and statistics can be found in  the  System's
        Comprehensive  Annual  Financial  Report  (CAFR).  System  assets are as
        reported in the System's financial statements and can also be  found  in
        the CAFR. Actuarial assumptions and methods are provided in the System's
        Actuarial Valuation Report.
          The source of this estimate is Fiscal Note 2019-31 dated June 17, 2019
        prepared  by  the  Actuary  of  the  New York State Teachers' Retirement
        System and is intended for use only during the 2019 Legislative Session.
        I, Richard A. Young, am the Actuary for the  New  York  State  Teachers'
        Retirement  System.  I  am a member of the American Academy of Actuaries
        and I meet the Qualification Standards of the American Academy of  Actu-
        aries to render the actuarial opinion contained herein.
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